My Number One Tip To Solve Sleepless Nights

I’m pretty lucky readers - my mum is kind of a genius.

She likes to drop little pearls of wisdom in people’s lives and then shrug like it’s no big deal. Except it is a big deal.

Case in point. Maybe 15+ years ago my mum shared this tip with me, probably while I was bemoaning some insignificant boy in my life and tossing and turning each night worrying about what was going to happen next with us.

She told me I could use this technique to either help me get to sleep at night or to fall back asleep if I woke up in the middle of the night with my mind racing.

Over the years, I’ve often shared this tip with struggling coworkers and stressed friends, when they’ve confessed to me that they can’t sleep at night.

And still to this day a random person in my life will remind me over coffee that they’re still using this technique during hard times.

Pretty cool right?

So what’s the tip?

My mum explained to me that while our mind is racing with work worries, relationship woes, money troubles or whatever the issue du jour is, it’s almost like the people involved are IN YOUR BEDROOM WITH YOU.

I’ve had bosses, exes, clients, real estate agents, the whole lot over the years, standing at the end of my bed, while I stress about what has happened with them that day or mentally rehearsing what is going to happen next.

You simply say something along the lines of:

“Ok <insert name here>. I know that you think it’s really important that I think about you and our situation right now, but I really do need to get some sleep. I’m happy to think about you in the morning, but for now I’ve got to say goodbye.”

You then visualise walking that person out of your bedroom and closing the door behind them. They’re no longer in your metaphysical space and you have moved them along until morning.

And guys, it really does work!

That act of acknowledging how in your personal space they are (like, get out of my bedroom random coworker!!) and moving them out of a sacred time like sleep, not only helps you get more sleep, but often makes you realise how insidious the situation has become.

One last tip - in really tough times, sometimes the bedroom door doesn’t work and you’ve got to walk them all the way out of your entire house (slamming the front door in your mind can be therapeutic here too depending how much they’re frustrating you!).

If you’re having trouble sleeping, let me know if you try this tip. I hope it helps you as much as it’s helped me and the people in my life.

 

Lacking Motivation? How To Find Energy When You Have None

girl-hat-where-the-light-plays-city.jpg

From talking to readers of Where the Light Plays, I get the feeling many of you share common traits. Some of these include commitment to career, health and relationships, getting the most out of your days and weeks, and looking for efficient ways to complete and achieve more tasks and overall life dreams.

I can relate a lot to these qualities, but I am also aware that the momentum behind this drive can wane from time to time.

Some weeks we’re just not hitting the level we’re expecting to. Some nights after work we can’t face the out of hours plans we were looking forward to that morning.

Rather than being hard on yourself or wallowing in a lack of motivation, try these strategies for uncovering energy when you thought you had none.

Do something small

I recently discovered Alexandra Franzen and her mantra ‘Today is not over yet’. Take it easy on yourself when you’re lacking energy and settle on a small task.

Put the laundry on. Book that appointment. Email a friend.

Take a small step and know you’ve done your best. You won’t feel time is wasted and sometimes it can propel you to do other things. And if it doesn’t? Go back to the couch. You have my permission.

Set a timer

This reminds me of my older sister -

“Go and grab me <insert a random thing she couldn’t be bothered to get herself> from my room. I’ll time you”.

I’m pretty sure her strategy was for personal gain and utilising her baby sister as a slave, but a little competition never hurt anyone.

Think you can’t clean your house in 30 minutes? I dare you to try. Think you can’t get in and out of the gym in 40 mins? Time yourself! Whatever you’re dreading, set a friendly timer and get moving.

Create a reward

Yes, yes, more mind games. If you’re feeling depleted but still have a number of tasks that need doing, think of what you’d prefer to be doing right now.

Drinking wine? Having a bubble bath? Going out for dinner with your partner? You can have all that… just as soon as you get at least some of your to do list completed.

Try a different routine

If this kind of lack of energy is a regular occurrence, it might be time to take a wider view of your circumstances. Is housework on a weeknight just never going to work for you? Shift it all to Saturday afternoon. Are you anti-life admin tasks? I truly am!

Stop bemoaning adulthood and batch your taxes, budgeting, healthcare, etc reviews in together so they’re wiped out in one fell swoop. Monitor your moods and schedule recurring activities accordingly.

Look at the basics

Again, this is part of a bigger picture review. If you’re not enjoying sleep, exercise and nourishing food in equal proportions, you’re probably never going to live at optimum capacity.

When we’re busy, these aspects are often the first to suffer. However, without a strong foundation you can wind up exhausted and in no mood for either the necessities or more important things in life.

Put yourself first, recharge and the energy will come.

Like this post? Please share with your friends!


Where I'm At: Interview Series - Kerryn Hewson of Colour Your Life

 

Welcome to my new interview series 'Where I'm At'. It's a voyeuristic, yet helpful look into the lives of women who are finding where the light plays within them. Their daily rituals, ways of managing stress and advice to you, the readers, will be captured in these interviews.

First up is Kerryn Hewson, Positivity Coach at Colour Your Life. Kerryn is based in Wellington, New Zealand and she provides perspective, inspiration and action to help ambitious, creative and passionate people living their life on auto-pilot, change their world by leading a positive life. Over to Kerryn:

What is your usual wake up time?

During the week my alarm goes off at 6am and I snooze it anywhere from one to four times. On the weekends I generally wake up between 8-9am sometimes with an alarm, often without.

Do you have a morning routine or ritual?

I’m not a ‘wide awake’ morning person so I like to give myself time to adjust. I start with putting my contact lenses in and taking a shower which helps wake me up. Then I like to settle onto the sofa with a blanket and write 'Morning Pages'.

   'Morning Pages' are three stream of consciousness journal pages introduced to the world by Julia Cameron in   The Artist’s Way .  Kerryn has written a&nbsp;  Quick Guide to Morning Pages  &nbsp;if you’d like to know more.

 

'Morning Pages' are three stream of consciousness journal pages introduced to the world by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way. Kerryn has written a Quick Guide to Morning Pages if you’d like to know more.

Tell us about your commute!

My commute is a 20 minutes train ride each way around the beautiful Wellington harbour.

On my commute into work I usually check my email including Facebook and Twitter notifications, blog reader, and Instagram - in that order. On the way home I’ll do the same and might browse Pinterest.

I know that this commute time is quality reading time and I’m trying to reach for my Kindle with my latest wellbeing or business read (I have Thrive by Arianna Huffington and The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks on the go right now) but it’s pretty hit and miss.

Do you like to plan your day ahead or prefer to leave it up to spontaneity?

Can you plan in spontaneity? I’m a total planner, but by planning in the time for the activities and projects that are important to me I free up other time to be spontaneous and do what I feel like. In fact, since planning in business hours to work on Colour Your Life I’ve freed myself from feeling guilty for not working on it during my down time and that’s allowed me to start listening to a bunch of podcasts I previously felt I never had time for.

How do you spend your ideal lunch break to recharge for the afternoon?

Out in the sunshine on the waterfront staring out at the harbour!

There really is something about being outside, getting fresh air and being near water when you’re stuck in an office all day.

What kind of workout schedule do you try to adhere to?

Hm, adhere to would imply consistency…

I try to get to a couple gym classes every week. My favourites are Zumba and Body Combat. I’ve also started doing some at home body weight circuits off Pinterest. And now that it’s moving into summer time here in New Zealand I’ll be starting to go walking in the evening with a friend of mine.

Between all of that I manage to exercise at least once a week and a really active week will see me exercising 3-4 times.

How do you like to end your day?

I like to end my day feeling relaxed which most commonly happens after I’ve been knitting while watching some TV with my husband or taking a hot bath.

What time do you doze off?

My bedtime is 10pm and I’ll generally head towards bed around 9.30pm.

What do you aspire to every day but never / rarely actually do? (you can tell me, we all have them!)

I already mentioned using my commute for quality reading time but I had another one in mind. Meditation!

I know all the benefits. I feel great when I do it. I have a bunch of very helpful apps on my phone and access to some great guided meditations. And yet… somehow I’ve just not found the right way to integrate it into my daily life.

Any advice for women trying to find ease in their every day?

My quickest tip to adding more ease into your day is to pause and simply breathe. Stop what you’re doing and take a deep breath in through your nose so that you can feel your lungs expanding, then exhale through your mouth like gradually letting the air out of a balloon.

My other piece of advice when you’re trying to find more ease in your day is to focus on making one change at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself and don’t force yourself to make more conscious decisions in a day than you need to! So whether it’s adhering to a new bedtime or workout regime, starting a meditation practice, or using your commute more productively, introduce them gradually one at a time.

Finally, can you give us your quick go-to recipe after a busy day?

Grilled chicken or oven roasted fish with roast veggies or a salad. 

-

Thanks Kerryn, I'm jealous of your commute and lunch views!

Want to hear more from Kerryn? Find her at Colour Your Life, on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (@kerrynhewson), or on Facebook at http://facebook.com/practicepositivity